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Zebra Finch

Taeniopygia guttata
Conservation Status: 
Least Concern
Australia, Indonesia
Grasslands, forests, plains with scattered bushes and trees, and even in human-disturbed areas

Zebra finches exhibit fascinating social behaviors. They are highly gregarious birds and are often found in small flocks or colonies.

Male zebra finches are known for their elaborate and melodious songs, which they use for courtship and communication. They possess a specialized vocal organ called the syrinx, allowing them to produce a wide range of complex sounds and mimic various tunes. Their songs play a crucial role in attracting mates and establishing territory.  They learn songs by listening to other Zebra Finches and practicing when they are young.  Their learning ability has made Zebra finches one of the most studied birds in the world.  By 2010 there were over 1,500 published scientific papers using Zebra Finches as a subject.

These finches have a relatively short lifespan, typically ranging from 3 to 7 years. However, with proper care and favorable conditions, some individuals have been known to live up to 10 years or more.

They nest at any time during the year, usually after heavy rainfall.  They build a nest in bushes, grass, caves, tree hollows, or on artificial surfaces like buildings and towers.  Zebra finch chicks have pearlescent lining on the corners of their mouths to guide parents in feeding them in lower-light nests.

Zebra finches eat seeds, and their beaks are shaped to remove indigestible husks from the nutritious seed germ.